Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the initial help offered to a person developing a mental health problem, those experiencing suicidal thinking, or a substance use related crisis. MHFA is an 8-hour course that trains people to identify the risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help. The majority of courses are taught to a general community audience, which may include but is not limited to first responders, faith-based organizations, and community stakeholders. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it does build mental health literacy, helping the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness.
Helping People … Help People
The goal of Mental Health First Aid is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives. Participants are also introduced to risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use problems, engage in experiential activities that build understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families, and learn about evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.
Building Mental Literacy
The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it does build mental literacy, helping the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness.
“We all have a role to play and an interest in the well-being of each of our neighbors.”
- Depression and mood disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- Adjustment disorders
- Substance use disorders
Who can be trained:
- First Responders
- Faith-based organizations
- Civic Centers
- Local governments/municipalities
- Corporations/local businesses
- Not for Profits
- Health and Wellness organizations